The Future of Energy in Africa.

On Thursday the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) released a statement on the launch of the New Deal on Energy at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The aim of the deal is to attain universal access to energy in Africa by 2025, in order to achieve this goal, the AfDB will be working together with governments, the private sector as well as both bilateral and multilateral energy initiatives which will help create a Transformative Partnership on Energy for Africa.

The Partnership is aimed at providing “a platform for public-private partnerships for innovative financing in Africa’s energy sector”, wrote the AfDB.

“The New Deal on Energy for Africa sets the ambitious target of universal access by 2025, which means bringing modern energy to 900 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa, to cover for those who do not currently have access as well as the expected population growth. This implies a step change in the way that the Bank, African countries, development partners and the private sector approach the energy sector on the continent,” AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina, said.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together,”

Adesina said, quoting an African proverb.

To some this initiative could mean that the Davos meeting was a success for the African continent. Yet many have criticized South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma for missing a key panel on Africa at the Forum.

South Africa is facing an economic crisis and is in desperate need of a boost. According to the International Business Times the country only “narrowly avoided a recession in third quarter of 2015”.

However, in a statement the Presidency said “the overwhelming sentiment emanating from Davos was that investors continue to see South Africa as a preferred investment destination.”

“Team South Africa leveraged the presence of international business, analysts and politicians in Davos to assure the global community of the country’s commitment to maintaining policy certainty, fiscal discipline, macro-economic stability and the promotion of inclusive growth and development.”

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